2021 Styria Moto3 Race Result: No Rest For the Wicked

Given the rainy start to Sunday morning in Spielberg, it was no surprise that a wet race was declared for the lightweight class but raindrops kept away for long enough to tempt some tyre changes on the grid. The consequence was drama from start to finish, starting with poleman Deniz Öncü making a late call for slicks that cost him a back of the grid start and ending with rookie sensation Pedro Acosta securing his fifth victory of the season and KTM’s first of the day on home soil, after a race-long battle with his main rival in the championship. Sergio Garcia spent the most time at the front of proceedings and miraculously kept second despite losing the front at turn 9 on the final lap, showing the strength of the two leaders, who had stretched such a significant gap that the GASGAS rider was able to rejoin without losing positions. Romano Fenati started the race in the top three and ended it there, after a late battle with Jaume Masia.

Fenati had made an excellent start to lead the way into turn one from Garcia and Acosta and that leading trio quickly extended a gap on the chasers on the first lap. Garcia demoted Fenati to lead at the start of lap 2 and Fenati was immediately under pressure from Acosta, but the leaders’ gap increased to almost two seconds by the end of that lap.

Acosta picked up the lead from Garcia for the first time at turn 3 on lap 3 and the two Spaniards were attempting to put some room in between themselves and Fenati. While the leaders swapped places on the next couple of laps, Fenati dropped one second back and trying to keep a gap to the pursuers led by Masia and Ayumu Sasaki. Meanwhile, the fastest of the men on slick tyres was Darryn Binder in 17th place, 16 seconds off the lead and getting steadily quicker, but the lot of them seemed to struggle to keep within track limits early on.

Garcia continued to lead the way from Acosta for the next handful of laps, with Fenati dropping almost four seconds behind by lap 8 and into the clutches of Masia, Sasaki and Maximilian Kofler but, in the tricky conditions, no one seemed too eager to attack for the final podium position just yet. 20 seconds down the road, Binder had joined the point scoring positions by the halfway mark of the race.

Although Garcia continued to roll out red sector times up front, Acosta looked comfortable matching his pace and bided his time behind his compatriot, while the dry line was getting slightly wider with every lap. Acosta finally made his favourite move at turn 3 with 11 laps remaining, with teammate Masia replicating that move 9 seconds later, to take third from Fenati. While the more experienced Spaniard held onto his position, Garcia deposed Acosta once more at turn 9. Status quo was maintained over the next few laps, the only difference being that Masia was stretching a gap over his challengers for third. Despite the ever darker clouds surrounding the Red Bull Ring, Binder got quicker as the dry line got wider, the South African joining the top 10 with 7 laps remaining and starting to match the pace of the leaders, albeit 24 seconds behind them. However, the rest of the men on slicks were either slow to progress into point-scoring positions, like John McPhee and Gabriel Rodrigo, or joined the gravel like Andi Farid Izdihar.

Back at the front, Acosta gave it another go at the lead at his beloved turn 3 with 6 laps and then with 2 laps to go, but Garcia retaliated straight back to start the final lap in the lead. Acosta took advance of his last opportunity and was not shy the next time around turn 1 but got a taste of his own medicine with Garcia pulling off a block pass at turn 3, sending Acosta well wide. That was nowhere near the end of the story, as Acosta attacked one final time at turn 9 and Garcia immediately lost the front, but sliding down the tarmac did not see him sliding down the timesheets, as the Spaniard was able to quickly rejoin and keep second position.

Meanwhile, Fenati had found a couple of seconds to catch up with Masia in the closing stages and stole third at the line, pushing the Spaniard off the podium. Sasaki added a third KTM to the top five, while Binder climbed as high as he could, up to sixth for the final three laps. Ryusei Yamanaka, Yuki Kunii, Kofler and Adrian Fernandez rounded out the top 10.

Acosta’s hard-fought victory extends his lead in the world championship to 53 points over Garcia. Fenati’s late charge promoted him to third, 87 points off the lead and 10 ahead of compatriot Dennis Foggia, who had an underwhelming race down in 22nd position, just behind the poleman.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time/Diff
1 37 Pedro Acosta KTM 39'45.869
2 11 Sergio Garcia GASGAS +14.431
3 55 Romano Fenati Husqvarna +15.410
4 5 Jaume Masia KTM +15.510
5 71 Ayumu Sasaki KTM +18.847
6 40 Darryn Binder Honda +20.534
7 6 Ryusei Yamanaka KTM +30.080
8 92 Yuki Kunii Honda +30.174
9 73 Maximilian Kofler KTM +30.245
10 31 Adrian Fernandez Husqvarna +36.355
11 12 Filip Salac KTM +36.437
12 27 Kaito Toba KTM +36.659
13 17 John McPhee Honda +36.665
14 28 Izan Guevara GASGAS +37.514
15 24 Tatsuki Suzuki Honda +37.918
16 20 Lorenzo Fellon Honda +47.645
17 16 Andrea Migno Honda +52.877
18 52 Jeremy Alcoba Honda +53.006
19 82 Stefano Nepa KTM +55.944
20 2 Gabriel Rodrigo Honda +1'06.540
21 53 Deniz Öncü KTM +1'12.291
22 7 Dennis Foggia Honda +1'22.638
23 54 Riccardo Rossi KTM +1'31.488
Not Classified
  38 David Salvador Honda 9 Laps
  19 Andi Farid Izdihar Honda 11 Laps
Not Starting
  99 Carlos Tatay KTM 0 Lap
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